How to Take a Writing Retreat, Part I: The Geographic Cure
i lack the discipline to quarantine myself away from wonderful people and things to do, even for a short while, when they are right outside my door. in the city, there's more psychic clutter that comes with all the movement of people and cars and ideas... sometimes it makes me numb and i am less scared of the ringing in my ears than of never being able to hear it.<!--break-->
i am a true believer in the geographic cure.
so, i split my intentions for this writing retreat into three categories:
-feed the muse (write, listen, study, move, etc.)
-create (songs, poems, letters)
-document (photos, video, blogging)
having not been alone with myself in a long time, it took about a week to notice a decrescendo of restlessness. the first few days, i cleaned and slept a lot. i conquered a 500-piece jigsaw puzzle, listened to great music, and made friends with a robin who nested on the front porch and taps at the kitchen window. (at first, that was sweet. now, it's annoying as hell and i swear she's going to come right through the window, tapping on it and throwing herself into it as she does. crazy bird. i can do nothing to stop her.) i also watched the sunset with a dead fox carcass on the beach. its skin was almost gone, but its teeth were bright white. i took pictures. i love a morbidly-beautiful juxtaposition.
there's an antique clawfoot tub here, so i take a lot of epsom salt baths. not being one to commit, i am reading Willa Cather's Death Comes for the Archbishop, Jack Kerouac's On the Road, and AW Tozer's The Pursuit of God.
it doesn't always happen like this, but the best way i've found to try to organize my day is to write in the morning as soon as i wake up (like it says in The Artist's Way, before the inner critic wakes up). i brew tea and sit at my makeshift workspace and see what comes up, or finish something i have already been working on. i write and play and record until hunger sets in and then usually come back to that workspace before the end of the day with new ideas from walks in the woods or reading, sunsets, dead foxes, etc.
i am still caught up in some of the things i wanted to leave in Austin, but as superfluous things fall away, these hangers-on are so much fewer and actually more important than they had seemed.
hooray for clarity!
stay tuned for Part II: (which will be something like) The Tools of Clarity, or The Work, or Flow, or Sitting At My Computer Feeling Weird...